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LEPTOSPIROSIS IN SYDNEY
There have been some confirmed cases of leptospirosis in dogs in inner Sydney and elsewhere.
The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science is continuing to investigate cases. Leptospirosis is an uncommon disease in dogs in Australia and in the recent outbreak all the dogs were severely affected and died.
It is a zoonotic disease, so people are at risk of catching the disease. This can occur through exposure to contaminated water or direct transmission. Infection with leptospirosis often occurs through exposure of animals to contaminated water sources, soil, and food. Leptospirosis can survive for months in suitable environmental conditions which include stagnant/slow moving warm water.
The reservoir hosts for the disease in the urban environment are most often rats and mice and it is likely that the rodent population of Sydney is endemically infected. Clinical signs of the disease vary from no overt clinical signs to life-threatening illness.
Vaccination is available and is recommended for dogs in the inner city who would be exposed to stagnant/pooled water or rodent populations. Initial vaccinations are given 2-4 weeks apart then a booster in a year.
Autumn is the peak period of the year for fleas and therefore for flea allergies! Fleas are the most common cause of itchy dogs and flea allergy can cause miliary dermatitis in cats. There are a number of products on the market and sometimes animals need treatment every 2 – 3 weeks instead of 4. As spot-on products spread over the skin it is important to follow the directions with regard to washing and as cats are important flea carriers all cats in a household should be treated at the same time. Call us for advice.
Ticks thrive in areas of mild humid weather and are common in bush areas quite close to Sydney from Spring to Autumn.
The two most common ticks on dogs are the Paralysis Tick and the Brown Dog Tick with the Paralysis Tick being by far the more dangerous of the two. The initial symptoms of tick paralysis in your dog will generally be a weakness in the hind legs that will spread to all four legs. Typically the dog’s bark will change and vomiting is common. Once the muscles around the chest and throat begin to show signs of paralysis, your pet is in a very serious condition.
It is far better (and cheaper) to prevent tick paralysis than to treat it! You should check your dog every few days and most certainly after any visit to a recognised tick area. Ticks are easier to find by feel than by looking for them. Check by running your fingers through your pet’s fur, particularly around the head and neck where most are found, but you need to check the whole body including cracks and crevices such as in the ears, under lips and even between the toes..
Remember TICKS CAN KILL! Phone us for advice on a full range of preventative measures.
DENTAL HEALTH - does your dog have healthy teeth?
Dental disease is common in dogs and is usually caused by a build up of tartar resulting in gum inflammation or gingivitis. Left untreated, the gums will recede exposing the roots leading to infection and ultimately to tooth loss. Some dogs may need to have their teeth cleaned more regularly than others. This depends on the chemistry in the dog's mouth (which will vary from one dog to another) as well as on the dog's diet. Feeding your dog dry food as well as canine chews and other gnawing toys can reduce the amount of tartar accumulating on the teeth.
TOXIC FOR PETS
Tiger Lilies are beautiful flowers but they are deadly for cats! Ingestion of small amounts of plants or flowers of the Liliacae family can cause severe irreversible kidney failure and death in cats within three to seven days of exposure. Only cats are affected. So take care if someone gives you a lovely bunch of Tiger Lilies for your birthday. Don't let your cat near them!
Dogs can be poisoned by chocolate, onions, garlic, chives, leeks, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, sultanas, ethanol and anything that has been sweetened with Xylitol.
PET OWNERSHIP LAWS - I would like a pet. What laws should I be aware of?
Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of the whole community, the Companion Animals Act regulates the responsible ownership of companion animals in New South Wales.
The Act sets down the following main requirements for pet owners:
Dogs and cats must be implanted with a microchip from the time they are 12 weeks of age, at the point of sale or change of ownership (whichever occurs first) and must be registered with the local Council by 6 months of age.
Dog owners must take all responsible precautions to prevent the dog from escaping from the property in which it is being kept. For the purposes of this requirement, “owner” includes any person who is for the time being in charge of the dog.
Cats are prohibited from food preparation and consumption areas, and from all wildlife protection areas.
Dogs, with the exception of assistance animals, are prohibited from the following areas (whether or not they are leashed or otherwise controlled):
children’s play areas;
food preparation/consumption areas, although it should be noted that recent amendments to the CAA now permit pet owners to take their pets to outdoor cafes provided that the café owner allows this, the animal is restrained (unless it is a designated off leash area), remains on the ground in the outdoor area at all times and is not fed.
Recreation areas where dogs are expressly prohibited;
Public bathing areas where dogs are expressly prohibited;
School grounds, child care centres;
Shopping areas where dogs are expressly prohibited;
Wildlife protection areas where dogs are expressly prohibited.
When in public places, dogs must wear collars identifying the dog’s name and address or phone number of the dog’s owner. The animal must also be attached to an adequate chain, cord or leash but is exempt if being exhibited at a show, engaging in obedience trials, secured in a cage or vehicle, or is in an approved off-leash area.
Dog owners must pick up and dispose of dog faeces immediately.
No person may have more than four dogs under his/her control at any time in a public area.
IF YOU MOVE DON’T FORGET TO CHANGE YOUR DETAILS WITH THE LOCAL COUNCIL.